Advertising on Facebook presents a unique opportunity because it’s a channel that can address every stage of the ecommerce conversion funnel—from brand awareness to generating revenue to creating loyal customer relationships.

The best practices around organic Facebook strategy have been well publicized, but organic can’t fully address a retailer’s unique business goals which is why CPC Strategy launched a Facebook Performance Marketing program this year.

As we approach the new year, we spoke with a panel of the leading Facebook advertising experts to discuss the role of Facebook in retail for 2017.

The 2017 Facebook Prediction Roundtable:

 


What trends are going to shape Facebook ads in 2017?

Nii A. Ahene, Co-founder / COO, CPC Strategy

niiCPC Strategy is a retail-focused search agency that uses a proprietary search optimization platform to drive conversions by matching inventory with consumer intent. Ahene is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities as well as long term financial, tactical, and strategic planning of the organization.

1) Video:

The major thrust around Facebook is video. Facebook is looking to displace (or attempt to displace) traditional TV dollars. With Facebook Live, the platform is trying to create engaging content for users that is either scheduled or impromptu.

As Facebook advances the adoption of those tools for publishers, pages and brands – we can also see the opportunity for advertisers to place their ads during video events.

Facebook is responsible for creating hundreds of thousands of live events per day – which increases engagement on the platform. It becomes very logical for Facebook to want to monetize that data with advertisers. Whether that be first party data or leveraging the same capabilities of Facebook product ads.

So, that’s probably the biggest thing we will see over the next year – more Facebook Live events, live on platform engagement, and the integration of ads during live video events.2017 facebook predictions


2) Ad Load Increase:

I can also see Facebook increasing the ad load associated with Instagram – globally. Instagram is currently still a pretty ad light experience. Facebook hasn’t been too aggressive with the ad load there, but I anticipate they will get more aggressive not only in the number of ads you see but also in their ability to target.

In the not so distant future, I can see the ads integrating the ability to target followers of other brands – the same way you can do with Facebook’s generalized interest. This could be huge for brands looking to target more than one type of interest group.

3) Focus on Local:

The last prediction would be local. Facebook rolled out (in September) an intersection between local awareness ads and PLAs – and the challenge of any local campaign is ad attribution. The question is, how many people purchased or visited your store because of an ad they saw?

Facebook (because of their ability to target and understand where their users are) is well positioned to solve that challenge.

For example, if you show an ad at 9pm on a Sunday evening, if that Facebook user is in the proximity of that restaurant the next day, Facebook has access to that type of information.

It’s only a matter of time before they start to make that available to advertisers. If Facebook can overcome the privacy challenges associated, I think they are well positioned to track offline/ online conversions.


Peter Messmer, Director of Growth at AddShoppers

facebook predictions 2017Peter Messmer is the Director of Growth at AddShoppers, the leading onsite social platform for innovative retailers. AddShoppers powers onsite social commerce for over 10,000 brands worldwide including Hanes, NCR, O’Neill Clothing, Everlast, and The Economist.

As the first employee at AddShoppers, Peter loves helping eCommerce brands sell more with powerful marketing. Currently, he is working alongside sales and marketing to help more brands sell more with on-site influencer marketing.

1) Huge Results through Facebook Messenger:

Facebook Messenger is huge, and now it’s possible to create ads that link directly to a conversation with your brand. The kicker? You can now use a bot to automate these conversation and help the customer consider and make a purchase.

We expect to see brands starting to test this feature out, and results worth tracking. As we move towards an era where more and more customers demand personalization and 1 on 1 attention (plus ever-increasing mobile marketshare), this is certainly a promising addition to Facebook’s repertoire.

2) Facebook Canvas for eCommerce:

Bigger brands are starting to test this format out and, if nothing else, we’re excited to see what creative solutions they come up with! With the increased level of interaction available and engagement possible, we anticipate hearing stories of some hugely successful campaigns leveraging Canvas.

3) New and improved Facebook Offers:

Brands and retailers that are more promotionally driven will be experimenting with the updated Facebook Offers platform in 2017. What’s updated? Well, they’ve redesigned the user experience to be optimized for mobile devices, which is obviously a smart move given their massive mobile user base.

It’s also built to work in-store (so you can pull out your smartphone at the register and redeem your Facebook Offer), so omni-channel retailers can leverage it for both online and offline sales.


Stephen Kerner, Retail Search Manager, CPC Strategy

stephenStephen Kerner has a dedicated passion for social media advertising. He has been an instrumental member in the development of CPC Strategy’s re-targeteing/re-marketing line of business.

Kerner makes strategic decisions to drive both traffic and improve cost of sale for PPC, Google Shopping, Facebook and other paid channels.

1) Canvas Ads:

I think Facebook is going to continue evolving their platform and ad program to make the user experience useful, rich and entertaining. We have see this with canvas ads, improvements in search functionality, and increased focus on video ads.

2) Targeting:

Start leveraging Facebook’s targeting abilities, starting with their first party data, and then expanding to lookalike audiences. They should also continue creating high quality assets that are entertaining and engaging.

3) Video:

Continue adapting to the ever-changing landscaping by testing new products and features that Facebook releases. A trend that we are seeing perform well is video. If a brand isn’t using video or putting some investment into it, I would say now is a good time to start testing the waters.


Dave Kerpen, Founder & CEO of Likeable Local

facebook predictions 2017Dave Kerpen is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local and the former CEO and Chairman of Likeable Media. Likeable Local is the first comprehensive social media software solution for small businesses.

Dave is also the author of the New York Times best-selling books Likeable Social Media, Likeable Business, and Likeable Leadership and the most read LinkedIn Influencer of all time.

1) Local Targeting:

Increased, and better local targeting than ever before, especially on mobile where it makes the biggest impact.

2) Live Ads:

2017 will bring advertising to Facebook’s increasingly popular live video product.

3) Custom Audiences

Even greater opportunities than ever before to target people who have taken certain actions or fit certain demographic criteria.

 

 


Sarah Rogers, Senior Social Strategist at CPC Strategy

facebook audience networkSarah graduated from Azusa Pacific University with Bachelor degrees in Communication and English. She brings several years of paid social experience working with Fortune 500 companies. 

1) Video:

Video is going to be huge. Basically you get additional benefits if you’re posting  video on Facebook including lower CPMs and  greater reach. Facebook figuring out how to monetize that is going to be a big deal.

2) Shop Now:

The Shop Now section is going to be significant for retailers because of the ability to buy onsite. In a lot of ways Facebook is following Pinterest (who has taken the lead there). Pinterest isn’t necessarily doing it really well, but as soon as those become paid avenues, I imagine that will take off.

3) Facebook Search:

I also think we’re going to see Facebook put more emphasis on their search. Right now it’s not that good – but there has been talk of a newer launch next year, that could potentially (one day) compete with Google, and even Pinterest, and YouTube. Advertisers and brands are continuing to spend more money on social to better their social creative, which will ultimately lead to rising prices and more competition.


Guy Rozman, Director of Acquisition, Yotpo

Guy Rozman is the director of Acquisition at Yotpo, a user-generated content marketing solution specifically designed for eCommerce stores and retail businesses.

1) Content Overload:

Facebook will continue to grow as a user-generated content publisher with live video, native video and instant articles.

Getting seen in users’ newsfeed will therefore become more of a challenge, meaning that advertisers will need to push for Facebook to play a bigger part in their content marketing strategy and budget.

2) The Rise of the Robots:

More brands will be using chatbots as a way to communicate with their audience. This will be a great opportunity for businesses to create an automated, highly efficient process from lead creation to sales and eventually to customer service.

3) Social Commerce:

It is now easier than ever to sell products directly on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest, without customers having to leave the social network at all. Online sellers should leverage the rise of social commerce to reach new audiences by expanding their presence across social platforms.


Casey Ewards, Social Marketing Manager at CPC Strategy
facebook predictions 2017

A West Coast newcomer, Casey is a graduate of James Madison University and spent the last several years in Marketing for a major retailer in NYC. 

1) Taggable, Buyable Products:

Facebook is rolling out what looks a lot like organic pins, where you can tag your product with brand & price. I think that will be really interesting in helping the discovery process. For example, you don’t necessarily go to Facebook or Instagram right now to shop but you do go there to discover new items or trends.

So I think that will help in the discovery process. You might not want to necessarily click through the site but you do find it interesting and might want to know what brand or price the product is and it gives you the ability to buy within the app itself.

2) Finding New Ad Placements:

I’ve also noticed Facebook is continuing to find new spots to put ads within the platform. If you’re looking at a picture – to the bottom right, you can see an ad. I think there’s also been some beta testing with new spots that we haven’t seen before. I imagine this will continue as Facebook figures out how to monetize and keep you in the apps for as long as possible.

3) Ad Creative:

We’re continuing to see a mix of engaging ad creative. For example with Carousel ads, we see part video integrated with part static images. Advertisers are trying to differ themselves in the market by creating engaging ads while also showing you the product.


Ryan Bates, Digital Production Coordinator, CPC Strategy

ryan-bates-headshot-300x282Ryan is a member of CPC Strategy’s Facebook team. He is an SDSU graduate where he studied advertising and journalism. When it comes to social media, he’s an early adopter and is on every platform available. 

1) Chatbots:

I think there is going to be a bigger emphasis on Chatbots – not necessarily helping prospecting / conversions but I think it’s going to be beneficial for the sales process and getting people into the sales funnel.

Having chatbots as a support system to answer questions about sizing, when specific sizes are going to be back in stock, and the fit of a certain product will serve as a good way to automate the sales process for brands, so they don’t have to rely on people around the clock. And we’re already starting to see that.

2) Integration with Messenger:

I think an integration with messenger is also something that’s coming on the horizon. – ad option direct people to your messenger so people can interact there.

3) Integrate Ads into Facebook Live Stream:

Facebook Live Stream has become such a popular feature. So I think we will continue to see the growth of Facebook live – whether that actually develops into some kind of an advertising program – it’s definitely possible we might see that roll out.

To learn more about Facebook Advertising in 2017, email tara@cpcstrategy.com

 

How Facebook Users Engage With Your Ads

The Facebook Consumer Survey 2017
 

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.